Electronic Arts – EA Chillingo
In order to get your project out to the masses to enjoy, most app developers end up going one of two routes, self-publishing or through an established publisher. In the mobile game industry neither method guarantees success. The decision to do-it-yourself or work through a publisher’s platform is entirely up to the app developer and their own personal preference. There are pros and cons with each choice. Publishers usually have more access to app store marketing tools and experience in launching games which can make the process go easier but it won’t secure a spot in the top 10 on the charts either.
The third party mobile publishing division of Electronic Arts (EA) known as Chillingo is currently actively searching for the next big hit mobile game. The company was purchased by EA in 2010 after they started receiving recognition for their association with major titles like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. The success of the games enabled the developers to move on and now Chillingo is in pursuit of more innovative titles with potential to perform as well if not better than Rovio’s Angry Bird.
In a GDC interview with Polygon, Chillingo COO Ed Rumley said, “We haven’t got this scientific formula of what makes a game successful. But it’s about experience. Even a great game can have one or two things that can limit it.”
According to Rumley, Chillingo excels at taking a game and adding a few necessary changes to make it appeal more to gamers which in turn boosts visibility and helps with app monetization, the core elements you have to have in order to make money with mobile games. He mentioned that 4,000 developers approach Chilling each year, wanting to publish their games.
“The challenge is making a good game that will monetize,” said Rumley. “That is difficult and we have to turn down some very good games, because they may not be profitable.”
“Two years ago I thought that we had hit the peak of developers contacting us but it’s doubled since then,” he said. “Especially they are coming from China which has increased significantly.” At this year’s GDC, Rumley cited that half of his team’s meetings were with Chinese developers.
Chillingo might be a great opportunity for exposure for devs since the company is able to cross-promote new titles across their vast network which includes all major EA franchises.